Second World War evacuee reveals happy memories in Essex village

PUBLISHED: 14:06 26 October 2009 | UPDATED: 22:02 31 May 2010

Geoff Cranwell, Susan Davies, Trevor Cranwell and Sheila Fields Picture: ALISTAIR NELSON

Geoff Cranwell, Susan Davies, Trevor Cranwell and Sheila Fields Picture: ALISTAIR NELSON

A WARTIME evacuee who was taken in by a Chrishall family is fulfilling a promise to make them famous . At an emotional book launch in Chrishall s The Red Cow, author Sheila Fields was reunited with friends, many of whom she has not seen for years. Her ne

A WARTIME evacuee who was taken in by a Chrishall family is fulfilling a promise to "make them famous".

At an emotional book launch in Chrishall's The Red Cow, author Sheila Fields was reunited with friends, many of whom she has not seen for years.

Her new semi-autobiographical book, Sally Bone, is packed with real life characters, including members of the Cranwell family who looked after her during the second world war.

"I had always promised the Cranwell family that one day I would write about them, tell the world about my time in Chrishall and make them famous," said Sheila.

To coincide with the launch of the book, Sheila visited Chrishall Primary School where she spoke to children about the war and life as an evacuee.

In the book, four-year-old Sally Bone is evacuated from her home in London and taken into care by Uncle Fred and Aunt Jessie who treat her like their own daughter.

Sally is so happy at Chrishall that when her father eventually visits her there, she pleads with him to let her stay.

As well as the happy times, Sally also recalls the more poignant implications of living under the shadow of the war and she describes how five young boys from surrounding villages never returned home after serving in the army.

"Sally Bone has taken me about a year to write and has been an emotional journey," said Sheila. "I laughed and cried and then laughed and cried some more.

"I'm really happy with how it has turned out and everybody who has read it has really enjoyed it."

After the war Sheila spent much of her life living in Holland where she still lives, but she has never forgotten her promise to the Cranwell family of Chrishall.

To order a copy of the book visit www.blenheimpressltd.co.uk

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